• Iryna Hennadiivna Radul
Keywords: self-centered (egocentric) speech, thinking, socialized speech, child's mental development


Purpose. The purpose is to theoretically research speech self-centeredness in child’s psychology.

Methods. In the study of speech self-centeredness phenomenon, theoretical methods of research were used, namely: analysis, synthesis of positions, concepts of comparison, generalization, interpretation and systematization of theoretical and empirical researches.

Results. Speech egocentrism has been found to be an age-specific feature of preschool children, and is also clearly manifested within primary school age children. Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget discovered the phenomenon of self-centeredness (egocentrism) in child. Direct self-referred speech is called self-centered (egocentric) speech. Such speech dominates within schoolchildren, and not directed at anyone. According to the criterion of communicative orientation of the child’s speech, J. Piaget classified it into two large groups – self-centered and socialized. In self-centered speech, the child does not want to be listener and is not interested in whether those whom he/she refers to are listening to him/her. He/she has the hope that he/she is heard and understood, so he/ she does nothave influence upon others in order to be heard. He/she speaks for him/herself or for the pleasure of engaging someone in his/her direct action. Speech is considered self-centered because the child speaks for him/herself and does not seek to support or influence the interlocutor’s point of view The interlocutor for him/her is an situational person.

The opposite of self-centered (egocentric) speech is socialized speech, which involves purposeful transmission of information, criticism, orders, requests and threats, questions and answers. Unlike self-centered, socialized speech has communicative orientation. Such speech is necessary for interaction with others, for exchange of ideas. J. Piaget’s research on the nature of speech egocentrism in children has received a number of objections from the national psychologist L. Vyhotskyi.

The scientist considered and understood the nature of self-centered speech fundamentally different than J. Piaget.

From the position of cultural and historical conception, L. Vyhotskyi asserted that the nature of children’s speech self-centeredness is regarded as social, and that all higher mental functions arise in the course of cooperation of the child with adults. Interiorizing, they become individually specific to each child, transforming into their individual functions. According to the law of higher psychic functions development, which arise initially in collective interaction, egocentric speech is one of the phenomena of the transition from speech for others to speech for oneself, the transition from interpsychic functions to intropsychic ones. Genetic development of child's speech according to L. Vyhotskyi has the following scheme: social speech – egocentric speech – internal speech.

Conclusions. Summarizing, we can conclude that for J. Piaget, egocentric speech is the speech of a child from his/her point of view, and for L. Vyhotskyi (egocentric speech) is speech for him/herself. At the same time, both psychologists believed that self-centered speech was transitional stage of the development of child's speech, but considered different ways of its development.


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